Who’s to Blame for the Social Security Mess?

The kickoff has already started, and the teams are fighting it out.

Raconteur Report is hosting the game. The score so far:

  • The Greatest Generation (or their parents, for the younger ones) started Social Security. Because FDR wanted to buy votes, he allowed people to begin collecting the (then) tiny payments right away. SS never was self-supporting. There is no argument that the GGs made out the best with SS. They contributed very little, and successfully lobbied for raises to ease the pain of inflation, while NOT taking reductions when the economy improved. In essence, they set the standard for SS to function like a one-way ratchet.
  • The “Silent Generation” – again, a group that, overall, got a terrific return on their investment. Keep in mind that many of this group never did make the “Big Bucks”. Most made modest incomes. Few saved much for retirement, as pensions still existed. For the lucky ones, this paid off. If their employer went bankrupt, offshore, or shed workers, many of them lost their pensions.
  • Boomers – the current group of “old folks” are responsible. This is the view of many of the Millennials, who have seen their parents begin to collect SS (the older ones), and who are beginning to wonder where the money is coming from that will support them in their old age. Many of the BBs were childless. Some used that freedom to save for old age. Most did not. Expect to see a strong push for government action to keep them off the streets.
  • Millennials – they are whiny, ungrateful brats (well, for some, this is, in fact, true). They need to toughen up and tighten their belts. No, the government won’t bail you out. Be an ant, not a grasshopper.
  • Gen X – you ALL are pathetic.

That pretty much sums up the fight, but, don’t take my word for it – go there, yourself, pick a side, and root for your team!

My view? Every generation faces its challenging times. No time period has been absent some crisis, economic upheaval, or opportunity.

And, it’s that last part that is seized by the fortuitous. Opportunity.

If you lay down and wait for a savior – whether religious, temporal, or governmental – y’all gonna DIE.

Take action – ANY action. Try cutting expenses (yes, the beloved family home or farm should be on the block, if need be), increasing income, taking from the meager amount you already get to start building a savings fund for emergencies.

Don’t make enough to save?

Bullshit!

I was UNEMPLOYED, and managed to tuck away a few bucks each time I cashed those checks. I saved the amount I made by walking, rather than taking a bus. I took sandwiches to temporary jobs, toted my own water bottle. I bought clothes at Goodwill and Salvation Army stores.

It can be done. You just have to want it badly enough.

I’ll be 68 years old, in about 2 months. I’m currently studying for my insurance license. I saw an opportunity when I was choosing my Medicare Supplement. My husband stopped to talk to a woman in Walmart’s, who helped him choose a policy. She asked me what policy I had, and I explained that I’d spent several months looking over my choices, and was sure that I’d picked a good plan.

When she heard my choice, she nodded, and said, “That’s a good plan. So, you’re not going to be traveling with your husband?” (He’d mentioned his plans to travel). I said, no, I traveled quite a lot, to visit family and friends.

“So, you realize that this plan will charge you as out of network any time you leave the state? One out of town illness or accident could more than wipe out your savings?”

When I picked my jaw up off the floor, I realized that she was saving me from a big mistake. Right there, I decided to do what she did – help seniors make the best choice for them. She helped me get started, and I should have my license in the next month or so.

Like I said, you have to be open to opportunity. This is something I can do part-time, as available, and will supplement my pensions and SS. Yes, pensions, plural. I taught in 3 different states, and am collecting pensions from 2 of them – not full ones, but the partial ones, rolled together, are about 1/2 of a full one.

I’m not bragging. I made some bonehead decisions along the way to retirement. But, I did manage to save, put away some money in TSAs (like a 401(k), but for teachers), and pick up extra money when the opportunity arose. I didn’t sit on my ass and complain, which is my big complaint about too many people.

Yes, I know they’re already working, or sickly, or have too many responsibilities. Tough. Find a way. Make ONE little change to improve your life circumstances – even cutting back to basic on cell or TV packages, and saving the difference.

I can hear the anguished screams now – NOT THAT! ANYTHING BUT THAT!

Sweetie, I once sold nearly everything I and my family owned to get the money to make a new start. When we set up in the new house, it was a few weeks before our kids had BEDS OR DRESSERS! Yeah, we sold just about EVERYTHING.

You can do it. You just have to want to change badly enough.

Even retired people can make some changes. It might mean no prepackaged food, or starting a container garden. Whatever the cost of time and effort, it sure beats complaining.

Up till the time we take our last breath, we can change.

A New Tea Party Protest

The French are doing it – disabling or destroying the speed cameras – around 60% of those in the country have been removed from service by this insurgent action.

The cameras target the bottom half of the middle class. The poor are mostly unaffected by them. There are few in their neighborhoods.

The upper classes have the clout to use their lawyers to fight the tickets, or to pressure the city to void the tickets.

The middle class is hit hardest by this, particularly the low end of the group. They’re the ones that have little money to pay tickets, and – if not paying – would risk losing one of their few assets – their car. For them, a car is not a “statement”; it’s a necessity for them to be able to work.

Like the protests that culminated in the Boston Tea Party, the Speed Cameras are, in effect, a tax on the non-connected citizen.It would be sweet to organize some teams to swoop in, disable or destroy the cameras, and quickly leave. I imagine that, even if the perps were found and tried, a jury of citizens might well use nullification to free them.

The French Yellow Vest protests are filled with working people. They take place, largely, on the weekends. Huge numbers of average Frenchmen and women, angered at their treatment by their own government, are taking action.

No matter how this ends, the Elite have to be getting real worried.

I Used to Think The Scarlet Letter Was Quaint, But…

I’ve since seen too many incidents of public ‘shaming’, and associated, coordinated efforts to deny people employment – at even the most basic, minimum-wage level – to not write this.

It’s PRIMARILY the Leftists that do it. No excuses for those on the Right, however. Forbes has a post by one who was so shamed, on the fallout that continued to affect her life today.

These are the same people who argued for loosened cultural norms in sex and other issues. These are the ones who call non-Leftists Puritans

We Can ALL Do This

What is this?

“Quoting Trump” – actually, the quotes are from well-known Democratic/Progressive politicians. This video shows students’ reactions to the deception.

Kids are visual, particularly relating to videos. I’ve been saying this for some time, but I think we need to begin producing our own content.

[NOTE: Despite my saying this, I’ve been procrastinating about producing those instructional video myself – more shame to me. I’m home today, and will get the first one out this week. I’ve been slow to do so, as I wanted it to be as perfect as I could make it. Enough of that – it’s more important to begin getting these out than to make them flaw-free.]

Like Real Wolves, These Lone Ones Run in Packs

I’m linking to Mark Steyn’s report on the beheading of the two Scandanavian young women who were hiking when they had the misfortune to meet up with 19 Totally Chill and Innocent Followers of That Religion of Peace.

Who, it turns out, were not-so peaceful. Nor, for that matter, Lone Wolves. This was not a random whack-job with an unfathomable grudge against the world.

This is War by the Uncivilized against the Civilized.

And, like the Unmanly DOGS they are, they attacked women. And butchered them.

I call them DOGS, rather than worms, because, for some idiotic reason, they really hate dogs. Anything that insults the UnGodly, I’m for.

I’m also linking to an explanation of the various plots and such in the Mideast that HRC was connected to. Frankly, when I read it, the devious, intricate interconnections and plans make My Eyes Glaze Over (MEGO), but I haven’t the brains – nor the patience to follow the thread today. It’s Post-Christmas Lassitude plus the work I’m doing to get my insurance license. My cerebral functions are short-circuiting, and I just can’t manage to process this.

12/30/2018

I’ve rested, my brain is functioning at a higher level, and I found this essay on The Democratic Empire that set my Spidy-senses to a’tingling.

Perhaps it the after-effect of all that traveling, but I can’t find a flaw in his reasoning. You might want to have a look for yourself.

 

Moral Brain Lock & Leftist Cowardice

Some time ago, Tom Kratman explained to me that pacifism is, at its core, a form of moral cowardice. The reasons for this are many and varied, but we can summarize it by considering that, were the pacifist to see a gang banger beating the crap out of an innocent old lady, the pacifist would consider intervening to be an injustice. After all, the pacifist would say, being violent in turn only brings us down to the gang banger’s level. In the mind of a pacifist, both the gang banger and the defender of old ladies are equally evil, for both resort to violence.

Leftism is full of moral paradoxes like this. I have, of late, taken to calling the phenomenon a form of brain lock. Leftism resembles, in part, a form of philosophy sometimes called moralistic therapeutic deism. It fits in neatly with this “I’m spiritual, not religious” nonsense espoused by a number of indecisive morons. I’ve seen this phenomenon called “post-Christian”, or a number of other similar terms. It is assuredly post-modern, for it has no obvious antecedents in our recent history. Whatever we call it, it is the dominant belief system in the Western world, even with many who consider themselves to be Christians.

In essence, it is a dumbing down of Christian morality combined with a form of pseudo-scientific Marxist absolutism. The pacifist will say that all violence is bad, but in his absolute devotion to this overly-simplistic principle, actually prevents himself from doing anything to stop the very violence he theoretically decries.

Good, the MTD adherent will say, is being nice. It is the Golden Rule, or something very much like it. So the adherent will countenance importing many not-nice individuals, in the name of being nice. Consider how Angela Merkel and her enablers like to guilt Germans about the atrocities of their anti-Semitic Nazi past, and use this guilt to import hordes of anti-Semites.

This is the kind of contradiction that infects adherents of this overly-simplistic worldview. Equality is their god, because equality is nice. If you have more, you should give it up until you don’t. Elon Musk shouldn’t shoot cars into space until Flint’s water supply is fixed. It is an inversion of Game Theory. The more your opponent punches up betray, the more you keep the faith. If Muslims blow your buildings up, write sympathetic pieces about the religion of peace, give them tons of money, and yell at folks who are skeptical of the religion.

In the pursuit of absolute justice, they propagate injustice. If a man cures cancer, should he be allowed to keep the millions that would surely flow to him? Or should he have to give it all away because of equality? Surely the unemployed crack addict should have the same standard of living, right?

This form of morality is both absolute and simple, and it does not work at its stated goals. Want more terrorism? Do this. Want more crime? Want more people to be on welfare? Do this. Want more violence, war, and hatred? This, this, and more this. Pacifism leads to more violence, not peace. Welfare leads to more layabouts, not more productive people. If you genuinely dislike violence, you must be prepared to do violence to those who violate the peace. If you value productivity, you must allow poverty to be uncomfortable.

The world does not conform to the MTD view. Being nice doesn’t make people be nice to you in turn. The Golden Rule contains an implicit condition: at some point, the rule should be reciprocated. You don’t apply the rule to a known genocidal maniac. In Game Theory terms, the Golden Rule means that, in the first round of the game, you select keep faith hoping that the other player will see the value in selecting likewise. If he fails to do so, and betrays instead, betray him in the second round since he cannot be trusted. Perhaps the betrayal will convince him that you are not a sucker, and he will learn to keep faith. Or maybe he’ll just keep hitting betray, and you will at least have avoided being a complete gullible moron.

Leftists can’t do this. They recoil from the necessary duty of being not-nice, of employing violence on the violent, of quid pro quo economics. They can’t see past this and encounter a form of brain lock in which they cannot comprehend how being not-nice in this moment could lead to a nicer society down the road. They cannot understand how violence can make the peace.

Or, if they do understand, they are merely too cowardly to carry out their duties as such. Perhaps for some, this is all post-event rationalization for why they did not intervene to save the old lady from the gang banger. “I am too good, too moral to fight,” says the pacifist, “someone else should do it for me.” Whether that someone else is a Rightist they loathe – but secretly need to keep from being turned into a bloody pulp – or a god they don’t really believe in (but hey, they are spiritual, not religious) doesn’t matter.

In fact, the distant not-really-extant god that they crawl to only in dire need is a great example of this. Fuck you, you don’t exist, says the adherent to God. He’ll drop a cross in a jar of piss, call Christians retarded and make fun of their stupid sky wizard. The next day when he loses his job and gets dumped by his gender-confused housemate he’ll expect the universe – or his god-like spirit – to intervene on his behalf and fix all his shit. And if that doesn’t work, he’ll crawl to the government, hat in hand, and expect the money cribbed from the rest of us to put humpty-dumpty back together again.

And if you don’t, you’re not nice, you big meanie. Now obey or I will apply social peer pressure to you!

The insidious side of this belief system is that it only works if the non-believers cave in to it, in sufficient numbers. That is the problem we have here. Go talk to a liberal on social media and try this experiment. Say something morally complex, like the first boat of refugees invaders to Europe should have been sunk, and that doing so would have actually prevented the loss of life the ensuing mass migration incurred. Or, if that is too spicy for your taste, merely state that illegal immigrants should be deported back to their birth countries.

Immediate brain lock will occur. You are a big meanie. You are evil. You are immoral and inferior to the Leftist, who is, of course, nicer than you! You can extol the virtues of self-defense, and a fair number of them will dispute the morality of even that much. You should run away, you should not stand your ground, for how could you be so mean to the violent criminal?

There is no breaking through the brain lock. The notion that good does not mean nice is foreign to them. They are sheep thinking sheepdogs and wolves are the same, because both have sharp teeth.

Once a Leftist has brain locked, the only possible expression is fury. How dare you question orthodoxy, infidel! This is why moralistic therapeutic deism may be a good description for the phenomenon, because despite often atheistic pretensions and its Marxist genealogy, it acts like a religion. It is merely that the religion is not well developed and is extremely over-simplistic.

Christianity spent many centuries arguing about its tenets. The nature of Christ, the Trinity, things like just war theory and just what was meant by the commandments… these were all theological debates (some of which went much further than that) that occurred in Christianity’s long history. Christianity largely solved the moral dilemmas and contradictions throughout the ages. And it did so through rigorous debate and practical application. It wasn’t always pretty, either, as Leftists often harp on.

Point is, though, it was done. And in so doing, answers to moral problems were arrived at, and a history was forged with guidelines for how to handle certain moral issues. MTD has none of this long history or debate. Its principles are simple and absolute. They lack even the forgiveness mechanism Christianity provides for those (all of us at some point or another) who fail to live up to its tenets. For them, guilt is eternal. Guilt lasts even past death – this is how white Americans can be held responsible for slavery long after all slavers and all slaves are dead. The guilt is never excised. Forgiveness is never granted.

Lacking such mechanisms for exploring the answers to complex moral problems, and lacking even the ability to forgive those who fail, MTD is, in fact, the opposite of nice.

It is an evil belief system in the same way pacifism is a cowardly belief system. And the reason for this is that the system allows and even encourages evil to flourish in the same way pacifism encourages violence. The fact that its adherents are unable or unwilling to see this is tragic. It doesn’t change the outcome one whit.

It is also prone to ever-greater heights of extremism. Vegans are often telling us that eating animals is violence against animals, and in turn, since niceness is the only virtue, we are evil for being omnivores. PETA once went so far as to cheer when a shark bit the leg of a little boy (IIRC, he lost the leg), because the boy and his father had been fishing, so the boy clearly deserved it for practicing violence against the fish.

They saw cheering as virtuous in the same manner as a Leftist celebrating that his country’s culture and history will be flushed down the toilet by waves of migration – much of it illegal and little of it assimilated – that dwarfs most migrations in human history. There is no higher cause, no greater positive sacrifice in the mind of the Leftist than cultural self-destruction.

And yet, having determined that all that is Western, or white, or male, or Christian – whatever – is evil and must be destroyed, they do not make the final rational leap: they are (usually) white themselves. Brought up in the West. At least vaguely post-Christian. Some are even kinda-sorta male. Shouldn’t they kill themselves, too? You know, set an example and all that.

No, of course not, says the coward. That’s for someone else to do. They are the anointed elites, you see.

They ain’t got time to save the old grannies. They are better than all that. It is a much better use of their time to rant about how an old Christmas song is sexist, or something.

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